Amano: New Phase in Iran-IAEA Ties

Amano: New Phase in Iran-IAEA Ties Amano: New Phase in Iran-IAEA Ties

The UN nuclear chief said cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency has entered a "new phase".

In a joint press conference with the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, after their meeting in Tehran on Monday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said his discussions with Salehi were "constructive" and the two sides agreed to maintain their interaction, IRNA reported.

"Relations between Iran and the agency have entered a new phase," he said. "We are ready to continue working at the current level, while Iran's full cooperation also needs to continue."

Salehi said the agency should provide Iran with more technical assistance in compensation for lack of cooperation during the past years when a "fabricated dossier" was opened against Iran's nuclear program.

On the project to modernize the Arak heavy water reactor under the July nuclear accord, he said the plan is ahead of schedule.

"The preliminary measures to design the reactor are underway," he said. "In the near future, maybe next week, we will announce good news on advancements."

According to the nuclear accord, “Iran will redesign and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on an agreed conceptual design, using fuel enriched up to 3.67%, in the form of an international partnership that will certify the final design.”

According to a statement posted on the IAEA website on Saturday, Amano's visit is aimed at "focusing on the IAEA’s role in verifying and monitoring Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action".

Amano's trip came two days after the Implementation Day of the deal between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), which put sanctions relief in place in return for time-bound curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

A report by the UN nuclear chief, Yukiya Amano, verifying Iran's compliance with its obligations under the accord, was the last step required to declare the Implementation Day. This was announced by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in a statement.

On Monday evening, Amano also held talks with President Hassan Rouhani and Zarif.